NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 9:53 PM
CHARLOTTE – Kristaps Porzingis was a split second from his first heroic moment for the Knicks. His release was just a little too late.
With 0.6 seconds left, the Knicks inbounded the ball beyond the 3-point line to Porzingis, who nailed the shot and celebrated what New York thought was a victory. But a referee’s review quickly determined the clock had expired and the Knicks, despite a great effort from Carmelo Anthony, lost to the Hornets in dramatic fashion Wednesday, 95-93.
Hornets center Cody Zeller was then credited with the game-winner, having connected on a lay-up with about one second left. It followed an ugly miss from Anthony, who got an open look along the baseline but was off balance and hit the side of the backboard, incurring a shot clock violation.
Kristaps Porzingis just misses becoming the hero on Wednesday night as his potential game-winning three-pointer was still in his fingertips as time ranout.
Robin Lopez was responsible for losing Zeller on the decisive inbounds play, as he went to help out on Jeremy Lin.
Anthony had it going, though, the whole routine. There was the lift, the release, the backpedal. He was pounding the side of his head in the celebratory way introduced by Rasheed Wallace three years ago, when the Knicks were winning 54 games and a division.
Carmelo Anthony’s game-high 29 points are not enough for the Knicks in a 95-93 loss.
This was Anthony the elite in the third quarter, the offensive star who scored 10 of his 29 points during a three-minute stretch. Except in the fourth quarter he was matched, and ultimately surpassed by an old acquaintance now on the opposite team — Lin. The former Knicks phenom, who told the Daily News he was rejected in free agency by New York over the summer, scored eight of his 17 points in the final period. Nic Batum paced the Hornets (4-4) with 24 points.
Former Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin sports his new hairdo and steals the ball from Jerian Grant.
The Knicks (4-5) lost for the first time in three games.
Anthony’s surge to start the second half led the Knicks to a double-digit advantage to start the fourth quarter. But the bench couldn’t hold it. Lin paced Charlotte’s comeback against New York’s reserves, so that when Anthony returned with about eight minutes remaining, the score was knotted at 82.
The Knicks were at full strength for the first time with the debut of Arron Afflalo, who has been dealing with hamstring problems since the second day of training camp. He replaced Sasha Vujacic at starting shooting guard and was at first effective, hitting three of his opening four shot attempts as New York held nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Afflalo finished with 12 points in 28 minutes. Vujacic, who had started the first eight games, picked up a DNP. Porzingis fell a rebound short of notching a double-double in the first half. He didn’t score in the second half, however, finishing with 10 points and 15 rebounds in 32 minutes.